Wheelchair Doesn’t Stop Johnson From Using His Bobcat

Sat May 30, 2009 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

Even though Greg Johnson uses a wheelchair for his day-to-day activities, independence is one thing he refuses to give up. Johnson, 33, has used a wheelchair for the past 20 years after he was injured in an auto accident that left him permanently disabled. The disability hasn’t stopped his desire to maintain his independence. That includes operating a Bobcat loader without assistance.

Johnson bought the loader to help him maintain 48 acres that he owns near Xenia, Ohio. Coming from a family that had not previously owned compact equipment, Johnson researched and selected a Bobcat skid steer loader with a Brushcat rotary cutter to mow his property.

“I knew that Bobcat loaders had been around longer than anyone else,” Johnson said. He settled on an 863.

Johnson later decided to upgrade. He wanted to stay with Bobcat, so he read about the A300 all-wheel steer loader in WorkSaver magazine, and contacted a salesman at Bobcat of Dayton for a demonstration.

“My salesman brought me an A300 and because it had the dedicated hand controls, an enclosed cab with air conditioning and the Power Bob-Tach system,” he said. “I was immediately sold. The all-wheel steer feature is much easier for me to operate, especially when I’m using the rotary cutter to clear my property. The loader and rotary cutter make smoother, easier turns without tearing up the ground.”

The enclosed cab on the A300 keeps Johnson away from poison ivy, which was another reason Johnson upgraded to the new model. The feature comes in handy in the winter when Johnson clears his driveway with the A300 and a bucket. He bought two buckets — one with a smooth edge and one with teeth — to match his year-round needs. The Power Bob-Tach system eliminates the need to get out of the cab to change buckets.

Being restricted to a wheelchair hasn’t prevented Johnson from playing sports, which happens to be one of his favorite hobbies.

“I’ve played basketball for about 10 years,” he said. “I enjoy it the most. I’ve played tennis and ice hockey too. The only difference in tennis is I’m allowed two bounces of the ball.”

For more information about using Bobcat products for personal use, visit www.bobcat.com/personaluse.

This story was reprinted from Bobcat WorkSaver magazine, early spring 2009.

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